Just a day after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced that he was restoring $40 million of the $106 million in cuts to higher education he had previously proposed, the state’s college journalists began to weigh in.
The funds to reduce the blow come courtesy of Missouri’s share of a legal settlement with national mortgage banks.
Trey Williams of the Northwest Missourian begins with a cliche, but continues the tradition of solid reporting from that paper. His story quotes the university president as reminding everyone that this $40 million is a one-time infusion of funds.
From another top Missouri paper, The Index at Truman State University, comes a similar story. Writer Andrea Hewitt’s lede is a bit better, but the story takes a while to get moving. Buried at the bottom is a quote from the school’s budget director that is likely to be a common refrain among the state’s higher ed administrators.
“What I keep telling people is we need to look at everything we’re doing and say what can we quit doing,” Rector said. “If you keep doing everything — everything just gets spread thinner and people get spread thinner and more upset. If it means mowing the grass less often, then we should do it.”
Unfortunately, mowing the grass less often likely won’t move the needle much. Cutting programs will.
The story also has a great nugget about a student-generated Facebook page encouraging people to contact the governor about the continuing higher ed appropriations cuts. That would make a great story itself. Unfortunately, I could not find such a page.
Most other MCMA papers either did not post stories about the news, posted the governor’s office press release (The Maneater) or a quick localized take (The Standard). The Chart at Missouri Southern tweeted about the development quickly, linking to Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the governor’s press release, but The Chart‘s website is not current.